Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The Spread Eagle Tavern, so named for the stone carving of the eagle on the front of the building, has been in operation since 1837. If you have never been there, this place is worth a visit just for the atmosphere alone. Besides the fact that stepping in this Tavern sends you back over 100 years, it also has a ghost. Olivinia was the sister of the first owner of the Spread Eagle. She had dreams of being a stage actress. She left for New York City and did her best to become an actress, but to no avail. Who knows what she might have gotten into in the big city. By the time she returned to little Hanoverton, she was quite insane. Her brother kept her in what is now the Thomas Jefferson Suite.
The third floor, upper left widow is where she spent her final days. One morning, despite repeated knocks, Olivinia did not answer the door, so when they got the door opened, they discovered she had tied her bed sheets together and wrapped them around her neck. She then tied the other end to her bed and jumped out her window effectively hanging herself. To this day, both guests and employees will tell you that Olivinia still roams the halls of the Spread Eagle Tavern. She even tries to open some of the other room doors, rattling the door knob loudly. It isn't so bad when the Tavern rooms are full, but in the dead of winter, when there may only be one guest, Olivinia has scared people out in the middle of the night. I would love to see TAPS come to this out of the way little town and see if they could find Olivinia. And investigate the Doctors House, too, right across the street.
If you are looking for something to do on Halloween night, head to Hanoverton to the Spread Eagle Tavern. There you can pay $5 a person and go on a ghost walk along the streets of Hanoverton, hearing all about Olivinia, The Autopsy Doctor, the Fireman's wife, the ghost of the little boy, the blood stained floor, and tour a cemetery haunted by a witch. Definitely Halloween fair to be sure. Happy Hauntings!

A Witchy Tale

The Spread Eagle Ghost Walk was a lot of fun for my crew and I because we are usually the ones who give the tours. It was great to be on the other end for a change. My favorite story was that of Christina Sloan. She was 22 years old when she died, and there is no record of what she died of that any one can find. Coincidentally, around the same time, there was a woman who was accused of being a witch in the area. She was accused by the minister of a church, one member of the church, and 2 immigrant workers. However, she was given no trial.
One night her accusers went to her home and dragged her into the night where she was hanged, and then burned. Finally, she was buried in the older part of the town cemetery. Before she was killed she swore that one day she would rise from the grave and destroy the town of Hanoverton. A few days after her death, these chains were put around the grave area. No one knows who put them up.

There are eyes on the little talismans. Some are right side up and others upside down. Legend says that if the chains ever come down from around this family plot, the witch will be freed to exact her revenge on the town and the relatives of her accusers.
I loved this story! Complete with chains, it is the best I have heard from the Columbiana County area. Is Christina Sloan the Witch in question? No one knows for sure. Her grave is the one that is pointed out. Usually the ones accused of witch craft that were executed were not buried on Hallowed ground, nor were they given tomb stones. Still, the story captured my imagination like no other has. I look forward to several investigations in the Hanoverton area next year.
And still to come, the story of Oliveena.